Thanks Gaz! Just gotta get back into it, everything's kind of a mess for the next month
Thanks Gaz! Just gotta get back into it, everything's kind of a mess for the next month
8-29-12: Strongman Wednesday
worked up to 200x1 clean and press
200+ lbs for ~50 ft
Doesn't look like much on paper but I was pretty tired after this session. Could be due to a headache that was aggravated by training, or it could be the new protein I had today (for both). Or entirely other factors. Either way it was a good training session and I had fun. My fingers are all messed up from the sandbag and my thumb I messed up in kempo last week definitely doesn't feel too hot, but it's all worth it. Most likely will be training strongman on Tuesdays from now on, I"ll just have to see what days my gym training partner can train early and schedule around that. One possible template is Tues: Strongman, Thurs: Deadlift/Push press, Sat: Squat/front squat, Sun: Bench/Rows. And I'll probably just be doing kempo on Mondays, maybe Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Hopefully everything will work out.
Transitioning into college will be major but can be done smoothly, wish you well with that.
Everything will work out fine, basically have to play it by ear at first and make needed adjustments as you go along.
8-31-12: Deadlift and OHP
worked up to 5x185 just to warm up for deads
Worked up to 2x455, then did 2 sets with 405 standing on a plate: 405x2/3
Bradford Press in between Deads
Flys and Rows
Nothing of note, just trying to feel the muscle, bodybuilding style
Sternum Chin Ups
Pretty good day today. This morning I saw a video of some guys doing some cool athletic stuff, including muscle ups, so I decided to go to the park near my house and try it. First 2 times I didn't get it, then I got a really sloppy one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwVEkuBEhng
Got a much cleaner one at the gym in between sets of squats, although I'm still "cheating", by putting one hand over the bar first instead of both at the same time. Just obviously didn't grab the monkey bars at the gym. Still pretty happy about it, will definitely be incorporating those along with dips, chins, and other bodyweight exercises. I want to be more athletic this time I bulk. Also did the Monkey bars for the first time in 10 years, feels like a really good back exercise, especially in the traps, since they have to work to prevent my arm from being dislocated by 200 lbs. Will probably end up doing this type of stuff on off days.
OHP was decent, just doin 5 lbs more than last week, I usually end up doing 4 sets on compound movements because my friend does 5 sets, but doesn't need as many warm ups as I do. Today I was experimenting with a new set up on deads, kind of what Mike Tuscherer does where he rocks his knees into the bar to get tighter. I did something similar successfully on my warm ups, but on the 455 set I ended up stiff legging it quite a bit. I think since I've stopped doing good mornings my hamstrings and back have gotten too weak to maintain a good angle, thankfully now that I"m going to have a dedicated squat day again that problem should be fixed though, by GMs. Deficit deads the first rep of the first set I stiff legged, but the other 4 reps of my deficit deads were good, so again I think it's just a problem with heavy weights. At least now I can truly respect good mornings. Did bradford presses for shoulders between sets of deadlifts, then did some bodybuilding crap inspired by the iron evolution article by dave tate. Might just start doing that after the powerlifting work, for size (leverage is functional). Did some sternum chin ups on my friend's door frame chin up bar a few hours after the gym.
Also just ate indian food after the gym, and now I'm going again with family to get more indian food. Gains gains gains. This time I bulk I'm just going to worry about performance: good athletic cardio, good strong powerlifting. I'll probably get pretty fat and unsightly, but as long as I can be strong and be athletic, I"m fine with it till I cut up again in December, this time with stimulants.
2x8x225 1 with belt
2x5x225 paused/slow with belt
Short day today, my squat technique was pretty bad today so I kept it light. Sadly since I haven't squat over 300 in more than 2 months, light has become heavy to me. Guess I'll have to start from square 1 again. First 3 sets technique was still not that good, but the 3rd was a little better because the belt helped me feel my form better. Boxers tore in half on the 3rd set. 4th set technique was really good, 5th it was decent. Going slow, pausing and using the belt definitely helps, I think I'll just continue to add 10 lbs every week and do all my sets slow and paused. Was really worn out after these and my hamstrings felt like they were going to tear any second, and after front squats my back was cramping up a lot, so I didn't want to go heavy on the GMs, even putting 135 on my back I started to feel uneasy about them, so I just did them with an extra large ROM and light weight as a mobility exercise. My legs have become pitifully weak and it's going to be a pain in the ass (literally, my glutes are sore as hell) to bring them up to an acceptable level again. Thankfully now that I'm eating like a man again my testosterone and aggression feel back up, and I'm a lot more motivated in the gym, which ends up pissing me off more since I"m so weak now, which gets me even more motivated. Performance>aesthetics, I'm now starting the DAAM diet, disregard abs, acquire mass. Cutting this way was a huge mistake, I'm pretty sure of the 20 lbs I lost most of it was muscle, so next time I'm doing a Sheiko 4 week peaking cycle, eating a ton of calories but low carbs on off days and before lifting (carb backloading), and using creatine and the legal version of ECA stack. Fasting doesn't work for me. Dedicated cardio wont' be necessary, and ephedra extract is gains friendly, so overall I don't think I"ll lose muscle and strength like this time around. Now all I need to do is build that muscle and strength I'll seek to preserve.
Any streamlining or leaning out plan will have the strength levels waning in a sure way, whether slowly or not...like seeing you get back in the game and going back to doing what you do best. This is good timing too, right on time before heading off to school.
9-4-12: Morning Bench/Pendlay Rows
Front Plate Raise
Just went to the gym for a brief morning session, training strongman this evening around 5:00 but I wanted to bench sometime before my next bench day, Sunday, so that I don't go for more than a week without practicing my technique. Also I wanted to be able to eat all the delicious carby leftovers we have in the fridge, without feeling like I'm wasting potential gains and getting fat. Good gym session, no training partner but it actually helped. My current training partner often comes to the gym stoned, so his lack of motivation usually dampens my intensity as well, but today I smoked through it, no pun intended, with good focus and power. The only problem was I didn't have a spotter, asked somebody to spot my first set but the weight was easy enough that I knew I could get the other 3 sets without worrying about it, just didn't push for any reps that I wasn't 95% sure I could get (the 9th rep on the 3rd set was somewhat questionable, but I got it). Did a lot of band pull aparts, more seriously than usual, between bench sets, and my upper back, mostly traps, was pretty sore by the end of it. Happy to see my strength going back up, I look and feel bigger, slightly less lean, yet my bodyweight is still 197 at the gym. 190x9 is 10 lbs off my 9 rep PR I set at 210 BW.
Pendlays were good, hit some front plate raises between sets, big ROM all the way overhead. I like doing the pendlay rows with light weight and higher reps, lets me feel it more in my lats and focus on technique instead of trying to push through it and feeling it mostly in the forearms.
I might also add that I did a slightly closer bench grip than usual, just because I use a very wide grip compared to what I see most raw powerlifters using, even though I don't really have a shoulder structure suited to pressing, which worrys me that I'll be seeing shoulder injuries in the future. Felt good with the closer grip, less shoulder pain (not that I usually have that much) and just as much power. On the 4th set I did slower paused reps, and on the dynamic sets I did 1 rep slow, then 3 fast, just to be able to tell the difference, I heard about JM blakely doing something similar for his dynamic work, thought I'd try it out. Overall a good, short session.
9-4-12: Evening (or according to Coachdeez, Night) Strongman
Worked up to 3 cleans and 3 presses with 180. Felt really strong today despite benching earlier, so I'm pretty confident that my strength is going up by a lot. I'm finally feeling good with the axle technique, it's not nearly as awkward as it's been in the past, though I'm still using too much arms. The weight felt easy but it was my cardio that was fatigued at the end, might have been able to hit 200 for a triple, or 210 for a double today, but I just wanted to do 90% of my PR/training max for 3 reps. I definitely think push pressing in the gym has helped a lot, will definitely continue doing those next time I start up 5/3/1 again, or somehow find a way to work it into the 5x5.
Sandbag Medley (just over 50 feet)
150 lb sandbag for 50 ft
run 50 ft back
200 lb sandbag for 50 ft
run 50 ft back
250 lb sandbag failed to lift, so I got it up with assistance and carried it about 5 ft
200 lb sandbag lifted with assistance, carried about 10-20 ft
150 lb sandbag lifted with assistance, carried 50 ft, then looped around which added about another 15-25 ft
Was gassed as hell at the end of this, and my legs and back, which had been sore earlier and cured by the axle, were now just as sore as before. The last time I've ever been breathing this hard was my first kempo class, the time before that was the first time I ever ran "the superlap", an evil 1.5 mile run that was mostly uphill (only down part was the stairs) invented by our middle school teachers, in 7th grade. Even 3 rounds of intense sparring, 1.5 mins on .5 mins off-after hitting bags for an hour-from last Thursday was not this hard. Plus the strength component, this is the most exhausted I can ever remember being. Just listing all my cardiovascular achievements.......
Aaaanyways, overall a really good training session, I feel so much better and more motivated than I did when I was cutting, I now enjoy lifting again. Just overall had a great day today, maybe it was the fact that I slept 12 hours with maybe only 1-2 hours of interruptions last night, or the fact I foam rolled this morning, or several other factors. Either way life is good right now, and training is going well in every way. Been walking on off days, taking my 10 yr old brother to the park and doing pull ups and monkey bars with him, and all sorts of other stuff recently, so it could just be me becoming in better shape and strengthening my back. Either way, my performance in strength and cardio is going up despite my gaining bodyweight and bodyfat, and eating pretty much whatever I want, and until the next time I cut, that's all I care about.
Watched the video with the masked due doing muscle ups a coupla years ago. Looked hard then. Bet it's crazy tough.
Good work with all the training, bud.
What a great big brother you are, that's quality time well spent.
Sounding recharged and renewed which is awesome man.
Thanks guys! And yeah I feel a million times better now that I can eat pretty much without restriction. I don't eat carbs unless it's within 3 hours of exercising just out of habit/paranoia, but that's not really something I have to force myself to do, besides, I usually exercise 2-3x per day since I go for walks on most mornings, so I eat carbs up to 3 hrs after that. Just mentally I feel much fresher now.
Deadlift and OHP
Did some light sets with 3x5x135, wore the belt very loose so I could feel pushing my core out and arching my back. Technique wasn't perfect but much better than the last 2 times.
Worked up to 2x465. Recorded that set and also 3x365, here's the links to both:
365 clean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKvkgfp8Zk4
465 sh*tty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em0AclVA37w
Definitely know it's hamstring weakness because my 365 was good but 465 technique broke down. Will be prioritizing Good mornings now
15x95 lbs just to punish my hamstrings for being weak b*tches.
Pretty good day today. Kind of interesting thing happened this morning, I recently ordered a stimulant product called Black Widow Energy which includes caffeine, ephedra extract, and yohimbe bark extract, and I was reading reviews that said to start with very little and work your way up. Was bored this morning since all my friends are in school and my school doesn't start till Sept 22nd, so I took a little less than half a pill. The dosage is 3 pills. Keep in mind I almost never drink coffee, so I have no tolerance to stimulants. Within 10 mins, I had no appetite, and a ton of energy. I wanted to go for a run or something. Although my heart probably would have exploded. My heart rate before was 64-68 (my HR goes up when I test it, so I'm probably sitting more around 60), but once I was on it, I was too ADD to test my HR, but it was probably 80 or 90. I listened to a slayer album (forgot which one) and it sounded amazing because my mind was running fast, and the album was running fast. I felt pretty high strung and just powered through some pre-term chem HW, somehow had fun with it till I got stuck, then played some video games while listening to slayer and everything was way more intense than usual. Finally I got so jumpy that I just wanted to go work out, so I headed to the gym to do my deadlifts.
Once I was there I was powering through everything, somehow I managed to muster up the focus to do my stretches, and got pretty good technique on my squats as a result. OHP was pretty good, the 8th rep on the 3rd set was a pretty big grinder but I had a ton of energy and explosivity on all the reps leading up to it. Did band pull aparts between every set, shoulders felt great, though my left shoulder socket has been a little sore since tuesday, did some external rotations after and it felt much better. Didn't want to reaggravate it doing bradford presses though, so I just focused on my deads. Started to slow down on deads, but I was still a little extra energetic, so I was using pretty short rest periods on that. Was listening to Children of Bodom the whole time, a band I've kind of fallen out of love with over the years, as they became sh*tty, but since my mind was running so fast it sounded awesome. Now that I'm home and it's been about 4 hours since I took the half pill, I still have a slight energy high, but I feel pretty normal, heart rate is 60-64 again, and my mind feels just a little fast. Either way, had a good day today, training was pretty fun and efficient, even if I was a bit ADD/distracted from the pill. Pretty excited to start my cut because I literally feel unrelentingly positive when I'm on this stimulant, with only slight anxiety/jitteriness as side effects. Also I'm looking bigger and leaner in the mirror after training, even after my pump has faded, my traps look huge in the mirror. Really good day today.
Very good with the high energy workout, looking productive.
On a side note I took my brother to the park today and got him on a pull up progression, had him do 5x10 lat shrugs on the pull up bar, then 2 sets of negatives. Next time I'll have him run through 10x2 negatives, in between playing of course, don't want to make him hate strength work before he even gets started lifting weights. We both challenged eachother on the monkey bars (he's got an advantage weighing only 85 lbs though!) and we both managed to skip 2s, and somehow I didn't dislocate my arms. Did a few runs on the monkey bars and I definitely feel like it's improving my grip and back strength, also did a few sets of sternum pull ups, and 1 muscle up, before finishing off with a solid set of 10, touching my sternum on the first 4, chin over bar on the last 6, kind of a PR considering my best with just chin over the bar is 10 or 11 reps. Lots of good lat work today.
Was supposed to squat today but we had a beach class (happens only about once every 2-3 months) in Kempo and I didn't want to miss out on that, it was really early so I got no sleep, then the class itself wore me out, both fucked me over for squats. Had fun though! My hamstrings are still sore as hell, so I"m just gonna combine squat/bench tomorrow like this:
Bench 25 reps total x 195
Front squat 195 x (match bench reps)
Pendlay Row 135 4x10
Good mornings with bradford presses (probably 3x10x135 and 3x10x85)
speed DL into "Kirk Kowalski row" 10x1 (probably around 255-275)
Will probably drink this pre workout I got laying around before this just so I don't get exhausted and lazy. Expecting to be there for about 3-5 hours so I'll bring some rice and beans to eat after my front squats. Also came to the realization today that I'm doing too much moderate intensity cardio, since kempo classes are about 1.5 hrs, even though it's basically HIIT, the rest periods make it become moderate intensity on average, and therefore catabolic. Gotta limit it to 2-3x per week to preserve gains. Probably one of the reasons my last cut was so unsuccessful.
Strong deads! I'm sure focussing on the Hammies will do wonders for all your lifts.
Thanks Gaz, working my way back up there xD. Hamstrings are definitely key to squatting and deadlifting
2 or 3 x10x75
Decent day today, although I didn't get to do everything I had planned because I was so worn out. High volume squatting takes a lot out of me. At least I'm increasing the weight and reps every week though. Squats were good, technique is getting much better, been stretching a lot more and going down slower, wearing the belt very loose on most sets to help me push out my abs and keep my back angle. On bench I keep setting high rep PRs, so I decided to try a heavy single, and 235 felt way harder than it should have. I might have been fatigued but I think the reason is that I haven't been going heavy/low reps in a long time, so even though I'm making good gains on my high rep strength, my maximal strength isn't increasing significantly. That's fine though because up until I go to college I'm just going to continue my "add 5 lbs every week and do 25+ reps total" program, then start 5x5 until December, when I'll probably be pretty fat, then when I "cut" I'll either do smolov base cycle on a caloric surplus or sheiko 32 on a small deficit (or maintenance but with stimulant pills), after which I"ll start 5/3/1 to regain my maximal strength while maintaining rep strength. Periodization, kind of.
I knew if I did front squats I wouldn't have the energy to do GMs, and since my hamstrings are much weaker than my quads I decided to do GMs instead. Pendlays didn't go so well, I think the high rep program isn't really working, so I'll switch it to the same program I'm doing for my squat/bench, which seems to be working just fine. I think what I'll do for front squats, until I have the work capacity to go heavy on them and do GMs after, is just match the weight and reps for GMs, just to maintain my quads. I'll be hitting them hard on 5x5 in a few weeks anyways so it shouldn't be a problem. Could also have been worn out from just the sheer amount of work I had to do today, next week I'll definitely do squats on Saturday and Bench on Sunday. Still, not a bad day today, rest day tomorrow (with kempo at night), but I might do some rear delt work.
9-11-12: Supplementary Lifts
Incline DB Bench and Chest Supp Row
1x11x135 followed by 9 shrugs
Front Plate Raise followed by plate halos (Raise/HaloRight/HaloLeft)
Felt really sluggish and tired today. My hamstrings have been sore for the last week and a half, but I think they're slowly adapting, iced the crap out of them yesterday. Also felt a bit sluggish at kempo yesterday, despite only gaining 1 lb this past week (198 at the gym), might be because there's a cough going around and I've been feeling a slight sore throat these last few days, or just my cardio is declining. Will start doing hill sprints whenever I haven't exercised in the last 5 hours and don't have to train legs in the next 24 hours. So that includes tonight, and tomorrow morning. Nothing too draining that will kill my strength work but enough to get my pussy assed lungs into shape.
Despite the sluggishness got a good front squat workout, last rep of both sets of 9 was paused because the weight was easy, the last set was all slow and paused (but explosive on the way up). Incline DB bench/chest supp rows were weaker than I expected, very sluggish and tired, and my cardio was shot. Drag rows were fun, I've been seeing a lot of guys smaller and weaker than me with bigger traps, even though I have good traps genetics, so I'm going to start hitting the traps more. Plus now that I'm benching with a closer grip they're more important. Just getting used to them, was very weak on these compared to what I'd expect. Front plate raises were good. Had a crazy pump after lifting, tried to get a picture but my hands were shaking way too much and my phone camera sucks, requires you to be completely still for 5 sec. Looked bigger than ever in the mirror though.
It's funny because for the longest time my chest and traps were way bigger than my shoulders, but now my shoulders are catching up. I still have a narrow shoulder bone structure, but all the back work is making them look wider, and my shoulders have been getting much thicker with all the isolation I've been adding. Now I gotta start hitting my chest more because it honestly is starting to look small compared to my front delts. It's all vain bodybuilding crap, but from a powerlifting perspective, bigger muscles=more leverage! Really notice a lot more bottom end strength on the bench press from the shoulder gains. No strongman tonight unfortunately.
Can appreciate you being your own worst critic and trying to be your best.
Keep having fun with it man.
9-13-12: Deads and OHP
a few sets of 5x135, just to help build that muscle memory technique, and get my hips warmed up for deads
415x3 with 1 plate deficit
365x5 with 2 plate deficit
Decent day today, wasn't feeling like I could even get 470x1, much less for 2, so I just did deficit deads instead. Get more out of lighter weight, since I might be a bit overtrained, one of the many factors that could contribute to why I wasn't feeling strong today (kempo workout was more intense than usual, BW was 196 at the gym, sleep/diet have been a bit off, and possible overtraining due to working with over 90% for too many weeks in a row). Squats were good, technique is getting better and better, OHP was all right, did a lot of push ups in kempo yesterday, plus I did a lot of pull ups for a rest day, 30-40, at the park yesterday with my brother, so it could be why I wasn't able to push the sets to 8 reps. Like I said, deads I wasn't feeling it, 315 went up slow raw, 365 was fast with a belt, but 405 was really slow even with the belt, so I went for a 10 lb deficit dead PR while I was fresh, then dropped it down even more, did 3 reps with 365 standing on 2 plates, but it was too easy, so I did 2 more reps, both decent grinders at lockout.
Next week I'll probably do some deficit deads, then do some overloading, so maybe work up to 3x425 deficit dead, then 3x455 regular dead, then 3x475 block pull off 1 or 2 plates depending on how hard 455 is. The week after that I'll be living in Santa Barbara, so I'll try 475x2 to "establish my dominance" in the college weight room, or deload if the block pulls killed me, then the week after that I'm starting the 5x5 at around 425 or 435.
Forgot to bradford press between sets so I did 1 before my last set, then 1 before or after hip thrust, which I just threw in for extra lockout work, even though I was already pretty well worked.
5 or 6 sets of 2 with 275
Short but good day today. Squats took a lot out of me, especially with this heat wave. Since I was pretty much dying in the heat I didn't want to try to squeeze front squats in, so I just focused on what I need, posterior chain work and deadlift technique reinforcement. Speed deads went great, 275 was flying up like it was nothing on most reps. Did this in oly shoes with my belt worn 1 notch loose.
Must be nice living in southern California, especially when extreme weather starts taking place.
In the midwest we are already beginning to get a cool down as we head into the fall.
Moving on strong bro.
The weather is usually really moderate here, I live 10 minutes from the beach so usually we have the ocean air coming in, but sometimes we have winds come in from the deserts to the east which really heats things up. Thankfully at Santa Barbara my dorm is going to be a 5 minute walk from the beach!
Thanks man, looking forward to getting stronger this winter. Maybe one day I'll barbell row as much as you do!